High school shortstop/second baseman Kyler Murray tweeted today that he is withdrawing from the MLB draft. Murray was ranked 32nd in this year’s draft class by ESPN’s Keith Law, 34th by MLB.com and 15th by Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs. Rather than enter the draft, Murray will instead head to Texas A&M not only as a highly touted baseball recruit, but also as one of the nation’s top quarterback recruits.
As Baseball America’s Teddy Cahill notes, Murray is expected to compete to be the Aggies’ starter. Multiple reports have noted that a shoulder injury which limited Murray to DH for much of the year made him tough to peg, but the consensus appears to be that he had a shot to go in the first round and, had he been committed solely to baseball, perhaps quite high up in the first round.
Of note is that Murray is not merely telling teams not to draft him, as Josh Bell did in 2011 before signing with the Pirates for $5MM. Rather, he has completely removed himself from the draft pool, as McDaniel tweets, meaning that he will not be eligible to be selected by any club. Murray will likely be eligible for the 2018 draft following his junior season, provided he does not shift his focus entirely to football.